Transcending Boundaries, Beyond the Limits: Yuan Ru Art Center’s Inaugural Exhibition
By: Sabrina Chen Translated by: Lauren Barnes
Coinciding with the fifth anniversary of the founding of Yuan Ru Gallery in Taipei, the first American branch in the greater Seattle area will open this summer July 2022, as Yuan Ru Art Center. This opening differs from other galleries with deep Asian roots. Generally, such galleries that are established in Asia continue to spread and open branches throughout Asian cities, but Yuan Ru Art Center is based in the United States. Founder Julie Hsieh, who grew up in the United States says, “I wish to bring Taiwan to the world, and allow the world to see Taiwanese artists. Taiwan and United States are both my homes. I hope to bring people together, and introduce Asian artists to Seattle’s beautiful scenery and invite them to stay here and create their art. Further, I would like to promote exchange between American and Taiwanese artists. Yuan Ru Art Center should serve as a cultural bridge.” Hsieh has previously hosted exhibitions in Venice, Madrid, Berlin, Miami, Tokyo, and Hong Kong, and hopes to bring her multicultural and transnational art experience to the greater Seattle area.
Located in Bellview, in the Eastern district of Seattle, Yuan Ru Art Center is a quiet space in the middle of the hustle and bustle of the city. The interior of the gallery is spacious with high ceilings flooded with natural light. In addition to several exhibition halls, reception rooms, and conference halls, the gallery also has space for art workshops and large multimedia art exhibitions. Trees surround the gallery, creating a beautiful natural environment. It is worth mentioning that the name “Yuan Ru Art Center” signifies that this space will host workshops and seminars in addition to providing traditional spaces for artists to showcase their creativity. Hsieh hopes that the Yuan Ru Art Center will become a place of community for artists and art lovers, like an aesthetic village.
Hsieh is an elegant figure, incredibly driven, and tenacious. She has non-stopped showcased artwork in various international art exhibitions and is constantly thinking about the next steps to promote the arts on the international stage. Originally, Hsieh was a family doctor who ran her own practice, but she felt something was lacking. Only after she began her artistic career did she find her passion in life. According to Hsieh, promoting the arts is an extension of her work as a physician: “Doctors can prescribe medical treatment to patients, and I feel art is another form of healing. I believe art can be used to soothe the heart, heal the soul, and make people happier. Art connects people from different backgrounds, helps convey an individual’s emotions, and inspires people.”
Currently, Yuan Ru Art Center not only presents the works of Taiwanese artists, but also cooperates with local established and emerging artists in the United States. The inaugural exhibition includes works from Cormac McCarthy, Angie Dixon, Mariestella Colón Astacio, Sandra Kahler, Racquel Miller, Judy Chia-Hui Hsu, Julie Hsieh, Chien-Hsing Lien, Wen-Yueh Tao, Yang Lin, Sheng-Reui Yu and Ying-Syuan Huang.
Although artist Angie Dixon was born and raised in the United States, her distinctive style is a blend of traditional Asian brush painting with her love of the Pacific Norhwest. Her works present show striking contrasts of color, from dark black inks to lighter, softer colors. She create beautiful scenes of animals, plants, and the environment. Originally from Puerto Rico, Mariestella Colón Astacio emigrated to the United States in 1990. Now, Astacio is an artist and a gallery owner. Astacio’s works in this exhibit are an abstract series in which the dream like images as shown on the canvas. The deep, penetrating brush strokes create a layered, turbulent image that explores the pursuit of individual creativity.
Cormac McCarthy, now living on Whidbey Island to the Northwest of Seattle, received his education in graphic design, advertising, and painting techniques. His art is inspired by the beauty of the natural world, influenced by his Irish origins and the eloquence of the Pacific Northwest. Cormac strives to capture singular moments in time – moments of pure immersion in nature, when one stumbles across a magical scene that captures the breath; moments that remind us of the wonderful awe and majesty of the world we live in. American artist Racquel Miller’s paintings are inspired by nature, soft music, and her own life experiences. She enjoys gazing up at the beautiful skies on her morning or evening walks pondering how subtle and calm it is. These moments of peace inspire her work by giving her a sense of calm in a busy world. Her paintings are soft and soothing and reflect the joy of experiencing nature. Sandra Kahler grew up on the beaches of the Pacific Northwest, which she now depicts in her series “Intertidal Zones.” In this series, Kahler experiments with space and place. She twists and turns the natural landscape to create deep and flat spaces, playful and ambiguous spaces and engages with and exaggerates shapes and colors to recreate her memories and the feel of the landscapes she visits.
Taiwanese-American artist Judy Chia-Hui Hsu, currently living in the United States, is inspired to create by experiences of travelling. Hsu reimagines figures from the natural world with brighter, bolder colors, and explores ways to transform natural patterns and shapes into vibrant abstractions. Dramatic colors and striking forms bring her a sense of beauty, joy and awe that she would like to share with her viewers. Taiwanese-American artist Julie Hsieh has immersed herself in various forms of art and creativity, from the art of vocal performance, to the art of medicine, and finally to visual arts. Her works are usually based on abstract expression, and not limited to a single medium. Hsieh blends composite mediums such as acrylic and oil paints, pastels, watercolors, charcoal, and ink to give her creations a multidimensional aspect. Chien-Hsing Lien an established contemporary Taiwanese artist known for his “magical realism’ style, which subtly reveals a feeling of pessimism, combined with a subconscious, mysterious shadow. His landscapes appear lonely and illusory with fantastic creatures making occasional appearances amongst modern day buildings. Lien’s works show how Taiwan’s scenery has grown and changed with industrialization and passage of time.
Another Taiwanese artist, Wen-Yueh Tao has multiple roles in the art world including educator, curator, and art critic. Tao uses bright colors, bold brush strokes to present themes of nostalgia, human reflection, and memory in an abstract manner. Yang Lin has created a series of self-portraits with bold colors and large, exaggerated eyes. Yang is a devout Christian and believes that the close up composition of her portraits reflect her inner soul and heart. According to Yang, creating her portraits is engaging in a dialogue with her Creator, and she is revealing His imagination in creation.
Hyperrealist surrealist artist Sheng-Reui Yu has been concentrating on his series “Luminous Research” for the past ten years. The "Luminescence Series" explores how paintings use light, and the luminescence shaping of space to project symbolic concepts. It can be described as a bold attempt to transform sculpture into painting, creating illusory but real imaginary images. Up and coming artist, Ying-Syuan Huang creates works centered around the theme of uses "flowers and grass" plants as her creative theme. Her inspiration comes from observing plants in her daily life and referring to plant illustrations and texts from the past. Her works includes medicinal plants, indoor plants, natural plants, and imaginary plants. Huang transforms the subjects of her works by reinterpreting and reimaging the plants’ shapes and colors. Her works feel incredibly fresh and carry a calming, healing feeling.
Yuan Ru Art Center’s inaugural exhibition “Transcending Boundaries” will be available July 16 to October 16 in the new Bellevue branch, Yuan Ru Art Center. In addition, from July 21-24, Taiwanese artists Chien-Hsing Lien, Wen-Yueh Tao, Julie Hsieh, Sheng-Reui Yu and Yang Lin will be exhibiting their artworks at Seattle Art Fair, Yuan Ru Gallery Booth F07. Welcome you all to join our art journey!